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  Christmas Dearest at Mary's Attic

Christmas Dearest

Mary's Attic
5400 N. Clark Street Chicago

Christmas Dearest tells the tale of Hollywood superstar, Joan Crawford, and the important lessons she learns one Christmas Eve. T'was the night before Christmas and MGM's biggest star, Miss Joan Crawford, is playing the title role in "Oh Mary", a splashy new musical biopic about The Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Poor Joan (David Cerda) needs a drink. And a REWRITE! Jesus has all the best lines, the costumes aren't sexy at all, and the guy playing Joseph is a big clumsy oaf! If they will just do it Joan's way, maybe she can salvage the picture.

Presented by Hell in a Handbag Productions

Thru - Jan 5, 2014

Price: $15-$35

Show Type: Comedy

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  Christmas Dearest Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Recommended

"...This season Hell in a Handbag artistic director David Cerda risks his scrappy company's financial health by replacing its perennial holiday moneymaker, Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer, and gambling on an untested show. It's likely to pay off. Cerda wrote and stars in this sublimely awful musical about Joan Crawford starring in a sublimely awful musical about the life of Jesus Christ (she's the Blessed Virgin, natch). Forcing her cast to work on December 25, the diva earns visitations from two Christmas spirits—and Bette Davis—who attempt to revive her dormant humanity."
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Justin Hayford

Centerstage - Recommended

"...the real star of this wildly funny, Daliesque musical (featuring songs like "Santa, Won't You Come?" and "No More Wire Hangers") and the reason to see this show is David Cerda. His clever new script with its sassy musical numbers (choreographed by Steve Love) and Mr. Cerda's spot-on performance as Joan Crawford is sure to turn this show into another popular holiday tradition."

Colin Douglas

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Unfortunately, Cerda’s show isn’t heavy on such insight, nor on plot; as the Ghost of Christmas Passed Out reveals a scene for Joan, she reminds us that Hell in a Handbag plots don’t need to make sense. Maybe that’s true, since the one-liners and the song and dance are meant to carry things along. The performances are occasionally fun and consistently over the top, but I can’t say that any of the tunes—excepting the last injunctive singalong, "Have a Merry Christmas, Damnit!"—were memorable, not even in their intention to be awful."
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Suzanne Scanlon

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...It's amazing how effectively AJ Wright's rampaging staging can crowd so much pizzazz onto the postage-stamp stage of Hamburger Mary's Andersonville upper room, Mary's Attic (with the audience equally cramped into sardine seating and dealing with less than ideal sight lines). Love's claustrophobic choreography is as classically campy as every mocking minute in Chicago's newest holiday bash. Cerda's larger-than-life Joan is a spitfire for the centuries. No coals in this stocking. It's Ho, ho, ho! all the way for this Joan in a Christmas chestnut-shell."
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Lawrence Bommer

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...David Cerda is in command and makes his mark as St. Joan. His dedication and camp esthetic is admirable. He and his team work hard to bring this special holiday project to life. I admire their tenacity and they made me smile."
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Lazlo Collins

  Christmas Dearest Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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